MORNING'S GATE by Ann Victoria Roberts

MORNING'S GATE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The British author of the widely acclaimed historical romance Louisa Elliott (1989) now turns her considerable talents to writing the story of Louisa's children--beginning in the present when Zoe Clifford, Louisa's great-great granddaughter, travels to York in search of her family's history. There, Zoe meets a distant cousin, Stephen Elliott, who shares with her a long-unopened trunk filled with letters, photographs, and a captivating diary written by one of Louisa's sons, Liam. From there, the novel slips back in time to the year 1913, and the long-dead family members are brought vividly and convincingly to life. Young Liam develops a boyish infatuation with Georgina Duncannon, whom he believes to be a distant cousin, but an overheard conversation reveals that Georgina is actually his half-sister. Horrified, Liam confronts his mother and then abruptly leaves home, striking out for the wilds of Australia. When WW I breaks out, he enlists, and when he becomes violently ill with dysentery, he is sent to London to recuperate. Georgina, a nurse, finds him there, and the two are drawn into an incestuous affair. Slowly, Zoe and Stephen piece together the clues and make the discovery for themselves. And in the process, they discover some unusual parallels--Zoe lives in a flat where Georgina once lived, Stephen physically resembles Liam--between past and present. They also fall deeply in love, but trouble arises when Stephen, a ship's captain, is sent to the Persian Gulf. Distance and several misunderstandings make them doubt their feelings for each another. It takes a near-tragedy to shock them into a recognition of how much they do in fact care. Well-researched and deftly written: a thoroughly satisfying historical romance that manages to bridge the decades with grace and skill.

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 1992
Page count: 620pp
Publisher: Morrow